QRP is currently designing a new waterfront park to serve both the local community and regional visitors to the Rockaways. The 2 acre site is currently undeveloped with a strip of beachfront on Jamaica Bay. Our new park design will meet the goals of the Rockaway Conceptual Plan and respond to community input gathered through public meetings with Rockaway residents, to provide opportunities for passive recreation, play and waterfront/kayak access.
Our design provides opportunities to interact with the water’s edge and includes an ADA-accessible kayak ramp, grandstand seating steps, an overlook terrace, shaded seating areas and sinuous pathways with unobstructed views of the bay. With a large, sculpted lawn for informal play, planted entrances, children’s play area and amenities like binoculars, drinking fountains, foot wash station, lighting and kayaking facilities, the park will become a vibrant new public space for the Rockaways.
A variety of planted areas are featured in the design, creating a mosaic of coastal habitats of high ecological value. Native trees including pitch pine, eastern red cedar, swamp oak, hackberry, honey locust and blackgum will be planted in groves along pathways and especially around seating areas to maximize shade. Tall shrubs such as bayberry and groundsel bush will be massed along the east and west edges of the property to screen adjacent properties. Maritime scrub/shrub plants, including winged sumac, fragrant sumac and beach plum, will be planted throughout the site, and rain gardens with flood tolerant native grasses and perennials will infiltrate storm and flood waters on site. The plantings will provide food and cover for wildlife and four-season interest for visitors, while restoring the ecological integrity of the site and improving water quality in this area of Jamaica Bay.
In 2019, the project received an award for Excellence in Design from the Public Design Commission.